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Catching ballyhoo in the keys

Old 06-10-2020, 07:27 AM
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Default Catching ballyhoo in the keys

Hey guys, what are your techniques for catching ballyhoo for fresh bait in the keys? Do you chum up at the reef and use sabiki rigs, or is there a better way?
Old 06-10-2020, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by thomasj1107 View Post
Hey guys, what are your techniques for catching ballyhoo for fresh bait in the keys? Do you chum up at the reef and use sabiki rigs, or is there a better way?
You got the first part right but using a sabiki with ballyhoo will leave you frustrated in short order. It does work but ballyhoo are designed perfectly to screw up a sabiki. If you insist on rod & reel then I suggest a single gold hook and occasionally even put a small "bobber" a couple feet from the hook. In my opinion, there is no better or easier method than the Ballyhoop net. Every single person I've exposed to this system just shakes their head in amazement on how easy and effective it is. They then purchase their own the following day. Thank You and You are welcome Ballyhoop.
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Old 06-10-2020, 07:35 AM
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Ballyhoop 100%
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Old 06-10-2020, 07:36 AM
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I haven't done it on the regular, but by accident we ran across some gulf-side by Sawyer Key. Dropped a chum bag over some hard bottom looking for snapper and the 'hoo showed up. Caught them on sabiki and cast net.
edit - I stand corrected, two votes for Ballyhoop before I finished typing!
Old 06-10-2020, 08:17 AM
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What’s the advantage of the hoop vs cast net for someone that is experienced with a cast net?
Old 06-10-2020, 08:32 AM
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Does the hoop work when their shy.What about when there's not a lot of current? I'm guessing a no go for pilchards and cigars
Old 06-10-2020, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by wstanford277 View Post
What’s the advantage of the hoop vs cast net for someone that is experienced with a cast net?
A hoop will preserve the ballyhoo better than a cast net since they can get caught up in cast nets which ultimately harms the bait.

I setup on the reef with my chart and chum in about 25-35 feet of water when I am in the keys.
Old 06-10-2020, 11:13 AM
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I've got an area in about 45' that's pretty consistent for me. Anchor, chum, Ballyhoop. The hoop works great,, they're not as beat up and it's easy.
Old 06-10-2020, 11:34 AM
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Ballyhoo are everywhere on the reef now. A trick we learned with no current when the net just sinks, tie an empty water bottle off to it..
Old 06-10-2020, 02:06 PM
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If you see ballyhoo you can get them with the hoop net. Used to spend hours on the reef ball now I’m catching them in the dark in 20 min or less! Go hoop net
Old 06-10-2020, 07:20 PM
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Literally the easiest bait to catch. Caught 2 dozen today in no time. Chum small hooks dehooker then throw the net after but I like hook and line First for fresh baits.
Old 06-10-2020, 09:55 PM
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Yes ballyhoop is awesome. However more often we do a chum bag. Small gold hook. Tip with squid. Dehooker and with a couple guys working can fill the well pretty fast.
Old 06-11-2020, 04:15 AM
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We’ve always used a small, long shank hook and a tiny bobber with squid. Basically a bluegill rig. I really need a ballyhoo- though. Not cheap lol.

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